Healthy Food Definition, Complete Functions and Features

Every day our bodies need healthy food. However, do you know what is the healthy food definition, the function and the features of healthy food? Well, to find out, let's peel one by one in the healthy food category.

Healthy food definition is food that contains substances needed by the body. Healthy food contains balanced nutrition, namely food that is full of nutrients and is well consumed by the body. Knowing the relationship between the food consumed and its impact on health is important to understand, so that office workers can choose healthy foods that are needed by the body.

Food is needed by the body as the main source of energy for the body. Every activity that teenagers do can occur because of the energy in their bodies. Foods that teenagers consume daily provide energy for the body to carry out activities, whether walking, running, thinking, and whatever activities they do every day.

Healthy food is the right food to add nutrients to our bodies, which contain nutrients. These nutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water.

Functions of Food for the Body

The function of food is not just to relieve hunger, but more importantly to get energy, get building blocks for body cells, increase the body's resistance to disease, and ensure the smooth running of all kinds of processes that occur in the body.

For this reason, the food consumed every day should contain elements that produce energy, build cells, and regulate all kinds of processes in the body. In accordance with their use, the food that enters the body can be grouped as follows:

  • Food as a source of energy, especially those containing carbohydrates.
  • Food as a source of building blocks, is used for the formation of new body tissue cells, the formation of red blood cells, white blood cells, and immune substances or antibodies.
  • Food as a source of regulatory substances, is absolutely necessary, although very little.

The characteristics of healthy food and unhealthy food

After knowing about healthy food definition, then let's get to know what are the characteristics of healthy food and unhealthy food. Here is the full explanation

The characteristics of healthy food include the following:

  • Does not contain a lot of animal fats.
  • Low in salt and MSG, the use of flavorings that are widely circulated in the market makes food taste more savory and delicious, but that does not mean it is healthier.
  • Many contain vegetables or fiber.
  • No / little use of preservatives. Every packaged food ingredient generally contains preservatives, such as broth, canned food, etc.
  • Using a little cooking oil,
  • No coconut milk.
  • Not too spicy.
  • Cooked thoroughly, so it is not half cooked or too long cooked.

The characteristics of unhealthy food are:

1. Contains Formalin

Formalin is a solution of formaldehyde in water and is prohibited from being used in food as a preservative. Formalin is used in the plastic industry, anti-foam, construction materials, paper, carpet, textile, paint, furniture, and preservatives. Formalin can cause cancer. About 2 tablespoons of formalin can cause death.

The characteristics of foods containing formaldehyde:

a. Wet noodle

The characteristics of unhealthy wet noodles are

  • Does not spoil up to 2 days at room temperature (25°C) and lasts more than 15 days at refrigerator temperature (10°C)
  • Slightly pungent smell, typical formalin smell
  • Not sticky and the noodles are shinier than normal noodles
Contains Formalin Wet noodle

b. Tofu

  • Does not spoil up to 3 days at room temperature (25°C) and lasts more than 15 days at refrigerator temperature (10°C)
  • Tofu is too hard, but not solid, the surface becomes drier
  • The distinctive smell is a bit pungent, the smell of formalin
  • Meatball
  • Does not spoil up to 5 days at room temperature
  • Texture is very shiny and chewy

d. Fresh fish

  • Does not spoil up to 3 days at room temperature
  • The color of the gills is dark red and brilliant, pale
  • If the fish is split, the inside will be slightly crushed
  • Strong smell, formalin smell
Fresh fish

e. Salted fish

  • Not spoiled for less than 1 month at room temperature
  • Bright clean
  • No smell of salted fish
  • No flies

Salted fish

2. Biological Contaminants / Microbes

Examples of Pollution Sources:

  • Polluted water
  • Dust
  • Insects (flies, cockroaches)
  • Rodent (rat)
  • Pets
  • Dirty equipment
  • Dirty hands
  • Food vendors
  • Raw food
  • Trash
  • Etc.

Biological Contaminants Microbes

3. Chemical Contaminants

Food may contain chemicals such as:

  • Pesticide
  • Cleaning agent
  • Paint
  • Lubricating oil
  • Heavy metal
  • Natural poison
  • Excessive Use of Food Additives the allowable limit
  • Prohibited hazardous materials for food (formalin, borax, textile dyes)
  • Contamination from food packaging materials (migration)
  • etc.

Chemical Contaminants

4. Excessive Use of Food Additives

Example: School children's snacks using sugar (artificial sweetener) or benzoic acid (preservative) in excess.

Excessive Use of Food Additives

5. Misuse of Hazardous Substances

Hazardous substances that are often used in food:

  • Formalin
  • Borax
  • Textile dyes (Example: Rhodamin B, Metanil Yellow)

Misuse of Hazardous Substances

6. Artificial Sweetener Safety Study

Some artificial sweeteners:

  • Sorbitol: excessive consumption can cause laxative effects
  • Mannitol: consumption of 20 g/day will result in a laxative effect.
  • Lactitol: consumption of 20 g/day may result in a laxative effect.
  • Aspartame: special warning for patients with phenylketonuria. The FDA assesses the use of aspartame as safe for pregnant women. Permitted daily consumption is 50 mg/kg body weight.
  • Saccharin: sweetener that is safe for human consumption.


7. Borax 

Misappropriated for meatballs, wet noodles, dumplings, rice cake, ketupat, dumplings, etc. so that the texture is more compact (chewy) and improves the appearance. Uses actually: antiseptic and germ killer. If consumed continuously in the long term, it can cause cancer.


Thus, readers, information about healthy food definition, complete functions and features. Hopefully by understanding the basics of healthy food, you will increase your knowledge about choosing healthy foods and staying away from unhealthy foods for excellent body health.

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